Monday, March 14, 2011

The Art of Being Lonely

I think I'm going to boycott Facebook for awhile.  Not for any political or ideological reasons, but for my own good.  About a week ago, a friend mentioned that sometimes she hates Facebook.  When I asked her "Why?", she talked about feeling strangely jealous when she saw other friends making plans to hang out or talking about the fun things they were doing.  She's a single mother, and when she's not working, she's usually at home with the baby.  She doesn't get invited out much, so it's hard to see her friends making plans without her.

I really like Facebook.  I enjoy reading tidbits about my friends' lives, seeing their pictures, checking out the links they post, and keeping in touch with long-distance friends and family.  Even so, my friend's observation makes sense.  Recently, I've noticed I get bummed when no one comments on certain wall posts.  My head plays a sad, tinny chorus of "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I'll go eat worms", until I almost start believing it. 

The hardest thing for my brain to understand is why I don't feel that soul-sucking sense of psuedo rejection here.  Days when I get comments on my blog posts are a lot like snow days - I do an excited, giddy dance around my living room when they arrive, but they are rare and definitely unexpected.  It might partially be because on Facebook, I'm writing for people who know me, but here, I'm essentially writing for strangers.  I think the biggest reason has to do with my own blog reading habits, however.  I find new blogs to read almost daily, and while I read fervently and often, I very rarely comment.  This gives me hope that others are doing the same with my writing.

Feeling rejected on Facebook seems to fly in the face of my very nature.  I am, and have always been, a loner.  I come from a very large extended family, full of amazing and talented individuals, and I have always felt lost in the shuffle.  I enjoy spending time with them (and with friends), but I always feel a sense of relief when I return home and I am alone.  I am alone for long stretches of time, perfectly content to watch movies, read books, and hang out with my computer.  When I do make social plans, they usually come all at once.  I gorge myself on social interaction and return to my solitude, satiated but drained from all the time spent with others.  I am the camel of socializing.  A night out with friends can carry me over months of being alone.  Why, then, is my psyche being so shallow all of a sudden? 

An acquaintance and coworker of Kris's recently posted this poem (ironically on Facebook). 

Maybe I need to relearn how to be alone, and to stop seeking fake validation from Facebook comments.  Until then, Facebook and I are on a break.


  1. Thanks for sharing the video Tabitha! I've been feeling like I need a break from facebook myself. Only because they seem to harbor false friendships. The conversations can seem one sided. I guess the same could be said for a blog but facebook seems more intense somehow.

  2. Loneliness is awesome and I love you.


I heart my readers! Thanks so much for your comments!